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Home safety is a topic that goes far beyond grab bars in the bathroom. I help seniors and their families discover new and helpful ways that enable loved ones to live safely and happily in their homes.

Some advice is so simple, it’s surprising. But if a person has been living in the same house for 50 years, new ideas can be very helpful “ah-ha” moments. Try these tips:

  1. Buy several nightlights and plug them in all along the route to the bathroom. A while ago, maybe one would suffice, but aging people need a better lit pathway.
  2. Keep the walker close to the edge of the bed at night.
  3. Did you know that some shower seats come with a notch to hold a handheld shower nozzle so you don’t have to reach up and wrestle with the unwieldy hose?
  4. Consider having your prescriptions packaged in single-dose bubble packs at the pharmacy.
  5. You can hire a homemaking companion just for the jobs that are getting difficult to manage independently. There are also area agencies that offer free home visits to assess a person’s home safety.
  6. Install a grab handle between the storm door and the exterior door to navigate the threshold.
  7. Consider a secure high-rise toilet seat so it’s easier to sit down and get up.
  8. Ensure both feet are securely planted on the ground prior to rising to exit a vehicle.

Julie Fries, RN is the In-Home Client Care Coordinator for Valley VNA Senior Care. Julie helps clients find the services they need; trains and supervises the caregivers; communicates with clients and families on an ongoing basis; and conducts Options & Solutions visits, foot care clinics, blood pressure clinics, and community health chats.

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